Monday, 22 August 2011



I'm actually writing this from our cottage in the Gower Peninsula in Wales where it is still summer: it's been very busy here, loads of visitors, including the two new additions to the family, Niamh, aged two months and Grace, aged nine months, both of whom seemed to like it a lot. Oh, and a large number of four legged family visitors too, most notably Merlin the whippet and Floyd and Monty, the labradors.Not forgetting Clemmie, my own rather elderly but sea-loving King Charles
Everyone has had a lovely time, walking on the cliffs and moors and playing in the sea; this is such a very special place, quite unique, and I actually used it as one of the settings in "An Absolute Scandal" the book before last.
It is gloriously sunny and warm and the sea (which I can see from my study window, how lucky is that!) is blue and hugely enticing-looking. I was in it yesterday...but I'm resisting it today--so far. The blog beckons.
Anyway, it all seems a long long way away from London and the publication of The Decision which is excitingly--and terrifyingly! -- close.
Just a few weeks ago, we made the short film about it which you can view on the website right now. It was a pretty scary experience, I have to say, although huge fun as well; it's all very nice at first, being fussed over by make up artists and hairdressers and choosing your most flattering outfit to wear, but then you have to face the camera and it all gets rather different. Like most of you, I daresay, I've always thought reading the news would be a perfectly straightforward procedure, so long as you could actually read out loud: not so. The person you thought you were-- able to smile at the same time as talk, not deliver everything in a complete monotone, not gallop through the words in a desperate attempt to get to the end--walks out of the door and leaves a different you behind, ridiculously nervous, with a wobbly voice and a tendency to gulp audibly. However, I settled down after a bit and really began to enjoy it; reading from the book--and I had the very first printed copy in my hands that day--brought it to life and made me realise that here was another one finished, the real thing, not just a manuscript, or a document on the laptop, but an actual book, signed, sealed and delivered, with characters just waiting to get out there and tell their story.
It's on my book shelf now; it'll be in the shops in just three weeks' time. As I keep saying, I do hope you like it...
September is going to be a whirlwind of The Decision-based activity, taking in a trip to Ireland, the Appledore book festival in Devon, another at Henley--followed by Cheltenham and Guildford in October-- all of which I'm very excited about, and then of course the fast-becoming-famous Bookfest in Wimbledon, of which I'm a patron. I'll hope very much to meet some of you at some of them, if you follow me.


  1. I've just booked my tickets for the Henley Literary Festival, I'm very excited!

  2. Can't wait to read "The Decision". Love your books, Penny. Enjoy the rest of your time in Wales. It sounds absolutely glorious there.